TA Mayor: We Can’t Handle All the Migrant Kids

An African laborer rides a bike carrying fabric along a main street in South Tel Aviv on Tuesday, February 12, 2002. Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash90
An African laborer rides a bike carrying fabric along a main street in South Tel Aviv in this 2002 file photo. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

By Dov Benovadia

YERUSHALAYIM – Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai wrote in a letter to Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon that he was concerned over the “massive growth” of children of families from Africa. “We are witnessing tripling of the population of the children of foreign workers, and they will eventually have to be absorbed into the education system,” Huldai wrote. “The system already has more than its share of problems. The Tel Aviv municipality will be unable to deal with this alone.”

In the letter Huldai asked for an increase in funding for educational institutions and day-care centers for the children. The letter was written in the wake of a meeting city officials held last week about the need for more day-care centers. At the meeting, data was presented showing the sharp growth in the number of children of foreign workers, mostly from Africa.

Huldai said that some 50,000 Africans lived in Tel Aviv, “after the government transferred tens of thousands of them to Tel Aviv. The challenges are huge and the crisis we face is acute. The neighborhoods where the Africans settled are in a state of near collapse, as services there are overtaxed.”

“We have many more children than we can handle,” he added. “Tel Aviv cannot deal by itself with the challenges.”

The Education Ministry has not yet responded to the letter.